Sit on your Ischial Tuberosities

When sitting, you can sit on your  Coccyx, or your Ischial Tuberosities. After all, it’s your ass!
sit on you ischial tuberosities
BUT…..sitting on your coccyx  ( right picture above: Boo. Bad) is the same as bending over badly and slumping (bad): the abdomen protrudes (bad) , the chest sinks ( bad), and breathing is inhibited. (cannot be good) It also indicates  fatigue (yawn) , and lack of support (Boo). In this position you can  try and make the client  (or yourself) sit up, but it will only last a short time before slumping back (sob) into your Backaholic patterns
Sitting on your Ischial Tuberosities ( a good place to sit, on the left above) , causes a more upright position (good), which elongates the spine (good)  and reduces excessive curvature (good; high five) .  Maintaining  this natural spine is easier as it is seen as a natural position (good. Fist bump). Each minute of wrong sitting can be compared to doing  the wrong exercise. if you sit poorly for 8 hours a day, thats a lot of bad exercise.  you are not a runner or a body builder or a crossfitter, you are a “bad back maker”
Of course, you should never sit  for that long, but if you must sit, sit on your Ischial Tuberosities!!
To get into correct “sit”, once you have sat down, lean to one side (imagine you are  trying to break wind!)  and gently lift your “lifted” buttock up with your hand,  scoop it back then sit down, then do the other side.
This said, you still  have  to fight your slumping habit. You must learn to sit tall and relaxed, but with an appropriate amount of abdominal tone. Say No to being a Backaholic!!

Handstands for scoliosis and back pain

I have a belief that handstands have a  role is developing the Core and aiding spinal mechanics. However, Im sure this has not been studied in any depth. The aim of this review is simply to collect enough evidence from easily accessible sources  to justify experimenting with my clients.
Whilst Im not sure about many of her recommendations, it was interesting to note that Sarah Key recommends the handstand for her scoliosis patients.
“the best specific strengthening exercise is handstands….. being upside down it literally tricks both sides of the para-spinal muscles into working equally hard in keeping you upright and balanced”
According to site that sells inversion tables, “In mild cases of Scoliosis, research and clinical studies have shown that inversion tables and regular exercise can have a positive effect on treating the physical defect. Unfortunately, inversion therapy has not been shown to effectively treat Scoliosis in severe cases”
BTW, I’m not validating passively hanging upside down. The benefit of  a handstand is that your body needs to be the tightest its ever been.
The “Mindbodygreen” blog by Heidi Kristoffer discusses that handstands can heal, but to avoid headstands! I must admit, I’ve never been a headstand fan!
Whilst this is far from anything resembling science, hanging people upside down , making them handstand, seems  not to kill people, so it may be worth experimenting with,  as long as  a proper posture ( neutral spine) is maintained. .
I’m assuming that I’ll develop the handstand from a good plank position, then walk it slowly up the wall!
I should say, I think that handstands will help IF people have adequate shoulder flexibility: hanging in an awful arch could do harm

Scoliosis Review: some reports

Regular readers will know that is was my intention to  conduct a lot of research on scoliosis and then publish some results. I am however, getting quite a lot of interest, so rather than sit on research , Ill publish thoughts and theories as i come across reports and Journals;  There is a risk that i can publish something that could be wrong and need to correct it later  However, the  value in people feeding back, digging out reports or treatments,  is worth a  possible public U turn!
Andrew  Stemler (
Is physical activity contraindicated for individuals with scoliosis? A systematic literature review
[Sports capacity of patients with scoliosis].
von Strempel A, Scholz M, Daentzer M
Sportverletz Sportschaden. 1993 Jun; 7(2):58-62.
Cobb angle less than 20. No  restrictions
For curves of 20° to 30°, they recommended restriction from what they call  performance sport; but school sports and competitive sports were allowed.
For curves of 30° to 50° or 20° to 30° with progression of 5° in 6 months, they allowed school sports with patients wearing a brace
Recommended these sports,:horseback riding, tennis, table tennis but not “performance sport or competitive sports at club level”. competitive sports allowed at school under the watchful eye of a teacher. For curves of 50° or more, they  recommended endurance sports (eg, cycling, swimming, hiking, jogging)”
Idiopathic scoliosis and spondylolysis in the female athlete. Tips for treatment.
Omey ML, Micheli LJ, Gerbino PG 2nd
Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2000 Mar; (372):74-84.
Scoliosis is not a contraindication to participation in sports and asserted that, unless a scoliosis was severe, it would not reduce physical function..
“Scoliosis is not a contraindication to participation in sports by the young athlete”; and they suggested  examination for underlying pathology (eg, syringomyelia, disk herniation, degenerative spinal disease) if pain accompanied scoliosis.
They also encouraged active strengthening and flexibility exercises for the spine during brace wearing and maintained that sports may be played while the athlete was not wearing a brace. Specifically asserted that swimming and water activity may be helpful to maintain flexibility, strength, and endurance.
Professional volleyball should be avoided, but recreational/amateur volleyball is acceptable.
Spinal deformity in the adolescent athlete.
Wood KB
Clin Sports Med. 2002 Jan; 21(1):77-92.
 “There is no objective evidence in the literature to suggest that active participation in any sport is directly associated with worsening of scoliotic curvatures beyond that of the natural history of the disorder.”
Recommended active exercise for  brace wearers  and encouraged brace wearing during exercise. No study exists showing negative effects of contact sports on the curve of a braced individual.  He encouraged  all athletics  out of a brace, not only for physical benefit, but for psychologic and social well-being!
Spinal deformity and athletics.
Schiller JR, Eberson CP
Sports Med Arthrosc. 2008 Mar; 16(1):26-31.
Recommends flexibility training and indicated that patients with scoliosis treated non-operatively can participate in all sporting activities.
Sport participation while wearing a brace was allowed and that sport participation out of a brace was also possible.
Conditioning should focus on flexibility of the spine and core strengthening and felt that the addition of plyometrics and power lifting after appropriate conditioning was acceptable. Athletes with scoliosis should be encouraged to participate in sport.
For postoperative patients, they maintained that sports participation should be at the discretion of the surgeon.
They did not recommend against torque sports for postoperative patients (eg, gymnastics, ballet, swimming, wrestling, javelin), as had previous authors.

Serial Case Reporting Yoga for Idiopathic and Degenerative Scoliosis: my justification for the side plank

Should  a client with Scoliosis perform the side Plank? I think so, as a strong side plank, when  matched with a strong plank and a good “brace” means the torso is “nice and locked down” ( highly scientific stuff)
The paper, “Serial Case Reporting Yoga for Idiopathic and Degenerative Scoliosis” came to my attention as it was reported In the Wall street Journal. I chased the actual study down to  an obscure Journal
Global advances in Health and Medicine.
So, it  got some people to perform the side plank
“Results: The mean self-reported practice of the side plank was 1.5 minutes per day, 6.1 days per week, for a mean follow-up period of 6.8 months. Among all patients, a significant improvement in the Cobb angle of the primary scoliotic curve of 32.0% was found. Among 19 compliant patients, the mean improvement rose to 40.9%. Improvements did not differ significantly among adolescent idiopathic and degenerative subtypes (49.6% and 38.4%, respectively).
Conclusions: Asymmetrically strengthening the convex side of the primary curve with daily practice of the side plank pose held for as long as possible for an average of 6.8 months significantly reduced the angle of primary scoliotic curves. These results warrant further testing”
My own take on this  is that  no harm resulted from this experiment, and it makes sense to test  strengthening both sides. The core  and torso needs to be braced: lets do it all! I should say the self reporting , does not make this the best evidence ever, but , interesting . The side plank is used by Stuart McGill in the treatment of back pain. It seems safe, if monitored, to use and test.
We will see how my client responds

will this help clients with scoliosis?
will this help clients with scoliosis?